California State Senator Indicted by U.S. for Bribery

California State Senator Ron Calderon was charged with taking kickbacks from a local hospital owner and an independent film studio to do their bidding in the Legislature.

The 56-year-old Democrat was accused of fraud, bribery and money laundering in an indictment filed yesterday in federal court in Los Angeles.

Calderon, who represents a district southeast of downtown Los Angeles, said in November that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had retaliated against him by leaking a sealed affidavit to the media because he declined to wear a wireless transmitter to record his conversations with two other Democratic state senators.

He’s accused of accepting jobs for his son, trips on private airplanes, golf at “exclusive high-end” resorts and meals at “expensive restaurants” in exchange for his support on workers’ compensation legislation. He’s also accused of taking bribes in an undercover sting operation to support tax credits for independent filmmakers in California.

Calderon faces as long as 396 years in prison if convicted on all charges, according a statement by the U.S. attorney’s office.

Mark Geragos, Calderon’s lawyer, didn’t immediately return a phone call to his office seeking comment on the charges.

The case is U.S. v. Calderon, 14-cr-00103, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

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